Hy-Vee to partner with burger, fitness chains

From staff reports

Hy-Vee Inc. is partnering with Wahlburgers restaurants and Orangetheory Fitness to bring new offerings to its grocery stores.

Iowa-based Hy-Vee plans to build, own and operate 26 Wahlburgers restaurants – almost doubling the brand’s current locations. Hy-Vee also will add select Wahlburgers menu items in all Market Grille restaurants. Actor and producer Mark Wahlberg is a co-founder of the restaurants.

In addition, Hy-Vee will partner with Orangetheory Fitness to provide customers with convenient access to an intensive group fitness program in or adjacent to Hy-Vee stores.

“These unprecedented collaborations reinforce our company’s longstanding commitment to health and wellness, culinary expertise and customer experience,” said Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee. “However, they also represent a bold step to deliberately evolve our business to meet the change in our customers’ lifestyles and spending habits. These partnerships keep us on the leading edge as the retail grocery industry evolves.”

Last year, eating meals outside the home surpassed meals consumed in the home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grocery spending trends began to shift in 2014. Millennials have played a significant role in the evolution, spending 44 percent of their food dollars annually on eating out, according to the Food Institute’s analysis of USDA food expenditure data from 2014. That increase has skyrocketed the share of income spent in restaurants and on take-out meals, rising from 34 percent in 1974 to 50 percent in 2014.

“There is a changing landscape in the retail industry,” Edeker said. “Hy-Vee has a responsibility to our customers, employees and communities to look for new ways to strengthen our company. With this type of progressive action, Hy-Vee is well-positioned for future growth.”

Wahlburgers is a family restaurant that features signature burgers and drinks in a casual environment. Currently, Wahlburgers operates 17 locations in nine states and Canada. Hy-Vee will build, own and operate 26 Wahlburgers in seven Midwestern states, becoming the brand’s largest single franchisee. In addition, all 84 Hy-Vee Market Grille restaurants will offer Wahlburgers-branded menu items.

The first Hy-Vee-owned Wahlburgers will be in West Des Moines, Iowa, and open in mid-2018.

Sioux Falls is identified as a future location in a map released by the company.

“Hy-Vee has been a great partner for us with our performance-inspired nutrition line. Their commitment to quality and innovation shows in everything they do,” said Mark Wahlberg, actor, producer and co-founder of Wahlburgers. “I can’t think of a better fit for Wahlburgers to introduce our family’s hospitality to the Midwest.”

Orangetheory Fitness offers a one-of-a-kind, intensive group training workout. With 750 studios nationwide, the company is on track to open 1,500 in the next two years. Hy-Vee will partner with Orangetheory to offer customers a fitness experience in or adjacent to Hy-Vee stores. In addition, Hy-Vee dietitians will work with Orangetheory members to offer dietetic services, provide samples of nutritional products and lead store tours to showcase items that align with member needs. This partnership creates an integrated fitness component to bolster Hy-Vee’s focus on health and wellness, including in-store dietitians, HealthMarkets, chefs, fresh and organic produce, and pharmacies.

The first Hy-Vee Orangetheory Fitness location will open this year in the Twin Cities.

The franchisee who has the rights to the Sioux Falls market has locations in North Dakota and has said he plans to open in Sioux Falls next year.

“Orangetheory is a revolutionary fitness experience, which combined with Hy-Vee’s health offerings, creates a one-stop shop for wellness,” said Kevin Keith, chief brand officer for Orangetheory Fitness. “Like our members, we know that many Hy-Vee customers are looking for more convenient ways to access fitness and healthy eating options in one location – this partnership solves that need.”

Orangetheory Fitness coming to Sioux Falls

Hy-Vee to partner with burger, fitness chains

Hy-Vee Inc. is partnering with Wahlburgers restaurants and Orangetheory Fitness to bring new offerings to its grocery stores.

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